Posted on January 6th, 2013 No comments
As I am sure you are aware by now voting is open for the 2013 SMB 150.
As I was casting votes this afternoon, I noticed there are a good number of folks who give their all to our community that the votes are just not reflecting. I would like to ask you to do me a favor and take a look at the last 10 or 15 pages (there are only 8 to a page) of nominees and see if you don’t think there are some there who are worthy of your vote.
You can vote for as many people as you want and you can vote for them more than once if you wish as long as you wait 24 hours before voting for the same person. Please help me correct this oversight before it becomes permanent!
If you are not sure how to organise the names in descending order here are some tips for you with pictures to help.
First click the All Nominees on the upper row of buttons.
Then on the next row of button click All.
(continued under picture)
Thank You for Helping Correct this Oversight! Voting is open through January 18th.
Posted on December 20th, 2012 2 comments
A few weeks ago after working behind the scenes for months with The Susan Bradley and a number of the other MVP’s I became frustrated and and wrote THIS POST, calling Microsoft out on the carpet for an SA make good that we did not feel made us whole.
I am very happy to report that today David Fabritius released THIS BLOG POST correcting what a lot of us felt was a raw deal for faithful SA customers. I would like to thank Microsoft and specifically Eric Ligman, Kevin Beares and David Fabritius for their hard work to get this SA make good offer made whole once again. I know a lot of you think that feedback given to Microsoft falls on dead ears, but this speedy resolution just proves they really do listen and when possible take action. To all of you who wrote in at my request, thank you!
On behalf of the loyal SBS SA Customers everywhere let me say THANK YOU Microsoft!
Posted on December 17th, 2012 No comments
Apparently Pride Mobility is not very proud of their products. As a matter of fact they do not even cover labor under their warranty, even for brand new items that do not work correctly. Apparently they are aware of how unreliable they can be and do not want to be responsible for the lack of quality control that appears to have gone into their manufacture. Is this any way to build brand loyalty, I think not!
I live on the east coast and travel for a number of technical conferences each year. I have always rented mobility scooters previously, but this year in San Jose, CA there was not one scooter available to be rented, so I ended up having to buy one. I noticed it had a quirk were it would drop into this very slow motion mode for a random amount of time and then at some point return to normal operation. Of course I was on a tight timetable and could not return to the dealer, so I figured I had bought a well-known respectable nationwide brand (I thought) I will deal with it on my return home.
After I was home I looked up the closest dealer to my house and took it in for repair. I was informed since they did not sell it to me they could not fix it. It would not be covered by the insurance. I told them I did not have any insurance so could they fix it. They said they would take a look at it. They called a couple of day later and said it could be fixed, the parts were covered under warranty, but I would have to pay the labor since I did not buy it from them.
I paid the invoice thinking it would not be a problem to recover the labor from Pride, after all I did take it to their dealer for repair. Well much to my surprise they couldn’t care less. They stood firmly on their policy of not covering labor even on units defective at the time of the sale.
So do yourself a favor, buy another brand, don’t let their lack of compassion effect you as well.
If you are still considering purchasing one of their products make sure and do it from a dealer close to home so at least you have the option to return it to them for repairs.
As the old saying goes, forewarned is forearmed, you have the knowledge, use it wisely!
Posted on November 29th, 2012 10 comments
Let me start off with a sincere apology to anyone who took my advice over the years and bought SA for their SBS licenses. In the past when Microsoft killed off a product that had SA on it, there was a reasonable make good offer made. Some offering that would let you continue to run your infrastructure mostly uninterrupted. Not so in the case of the SBS make good.
As we all know by now Microsoft recently put a stake through the heart of SBS. This week my first client’s license is up for renewal so I am working with the disty (License Online in this case) and trying to figure out what to order so my client can continue to run their network in a fashion that makes sense for them. This cannot be done with the current make-good which is one copy of server standard for SBS and one copy of server standard for the PAO add-on. The latter by the way is just fine and what would be expected, one copy of server and one copy of SQL to run on it.
The problem is with the SBS make-good itself.
SBS needs an OS for AD/File&Print and another for Exchange. It requires two OSes to replace SBS. Microsoft’s answer is to virtualize the one copy of server, but that is not necessarily in the best interest of the smaller client and they may not want to go there for any number of reasons. The make good should in all good conscience be a copy of server standard to hold exchange and a copy of Essentials server to hold the AD/File&Print. The Cals are a no brain-er and take care of themselves swapping out SBS Cals for the same number of Server and Exchange Cals. This would be as close to apples to apples as one would expect historically and ethically. It is not reasonable to expect these smaller clients have to bear the overhead and technical challenges of running a virtual network and the additional headaches it involves. I am not concerned about the larger clients; they are probably already looking into or implementing virtualization. I am concerned about the under 25 crowd, the majority of SBS networks.
Having trouble following along what the issue is?
Let me try this example.
Let’s compare this to a fire insurance policy.
Say you have a 3 bedroom house.
Let’s call those bedrooms AD/File&Print, Exchange and PAO/SQL.
You insure it, let’s call that policy SA.
It burns down.
When you call the insurance company they tell you they can’t rebuild your house, what they can do is make you a two bedroom house instead. They will make one bedroom and you can put in bunk beds (let’s call them virtualization) to hold AD and Exchange and then another bedroom to hold PAO/SQL. This is what Microsoft is doing, forcing the small businesses that bought into the SA lie into either buying a copy of Essentials or running their infrastructure in Virtual Servers which many don’t want and is not the best fit for many of them either. They deserve apples to apples like SA always provided in the past. This is how make goods were handled in the past. In this new paradigm SA is a BAD INVESTMENT, since you are no longer guaranteed a reasonable make good. Microsoft’s word is no longer to be trusted regarding SA when they say they will take care of you. They are leaving us holding the bag and out in the cold, a bedroom short if you will.
I and many of the SBS-MVP’s having been having this fight for you behind the scenes for months now. We have not been able to get anyone at Microsoft to see reason. To be fair a few folks have understood the problem and agreed with us, but were powerless to get it fixed. Every time it looks like they finally get it, someone throws a monkey wrench into the works. It appears the only way to get them to be reasonable is to become a squeaky wheel, so to speak. So please, if you find yourself in this position with your clients, write to the powers that be at Microsoft and let your dis-satisfaction and your opinion be heard. It is the only way they may right this wrong.
Here are a few folks you can contact to pass along you views. Please keep in mind as you write to them, they are not the problem. Don’t take out your frustrations on them. They are stuck in the middle, but they can pass along your collective views to those in power to try and right this wrong.
David Fabritius David.Fabritius@microsoft.com
Clinton Ho Clinton.Ho@microsoft.com
Kevin Beares KBeares@microsoft.com
Eric Ligman ELigman@microsoft.com
Kevin Turner Kevin.Turner@microsoft.com
Steve Ballmer Steveb@microsoft.com (the buck stops here)
Your Community Advocate,
Posted on October 9th, 2012 No comments
Got this note from from Dave Seibert and thought I would share it since he took the time to list all the links, Thx Dave!
Microsoft announces RTM of W12 Essentials. Several MS documents have also been revised or updated with the latest W12 Essentials information.
Here are a few highlights & linked docs to share with everyone:
* W12 Essentials is now in RTM. The downloadable bits are available from the Eval Center
* There is a virtual demo environment available online hands-on-lab http://online.holsystems.com/Software/holLaunchPadOnline/holLaunchPadOnline.application?eng=SBS2011&auth=none&src=SBS&altadd=true&labid=6253>
* W12 Essentials updated Licensing & Pricing FAQ’s W12 FAQ
http://download.microsoft.com/download/4/D/B/4DB352D1-C610-466A-9AAF-EEF4F4CFFF27/WS2012_Licensing-Pricing_FAQ.pdf> (see Q35-Q46)
* W12 Essentials updated Licensing Data Sheet
* Reference to the full W12 Essentials Product page
* Foundation Server 2012 licensing & pricing remain the same
On an overall note, most will recall that SBS information was posted individually for easy reading for SB focused partners. Now the Essentials information is listed within the Window Server 2012 Family documentation. I hope that Microsoft separates or makes it easier for us to follow Essentials progress.
SMB Technology Network, Executive VP!
IT Innovators, Inc.
Posted on October 2nd, 2012 No comments
Windows To Go was a new feature introduced in Windows 7, it is really handy way to carry a secure copy of the operating system around with you. You just plug your boot-able thumb drive into a handy computer, reboot it and all your private information a history stays on the thumb drive not on the computer you borrowed. It does take a good sized drive and USB 3 really speeds things up.
They look alike don’t they? Well after wasting a few hours trying and trying to redo one of my 32Gb Data Travelers that was booting Window 7 just fine (the top one), I broke down and called Kingston. Apparently windows only allows one partition on removable media and Windows 8 To Go requires 2 partitions. So Kingston had to release a new version of the Data Traveler just for Win 8 (the bottom one), I am reasonably sure the other manufacturers will have to do something similar. So do your homework and make sure the drive you are going to buy specifically says it will support Windows 8 Bootable Windows To Go. The trick to knowing on the Data Traveler is the Model Number will start with KW instead of DT, this number is stamped on the metal part of the USB plug, I tried to get a picture but it was impossible to see. So here is what the card looks like that is in the package of the correct model. If you want to look on the metal tounge of the USB plug I recommend bringing a strong magnifing glass to the store with you.
Something else you should know the process to create the Windows to go drive has changed as well.
Here is a link to the process for creating both the Windows 7 & Windows 8 versions http://tweaks.com/windows/52279/how-to-create-a-windows-to-go-usb-drive/
Posted on October 1st, 2012 1 comment
Just heard I have been awarded the Microsoft MVP for Small Business Server for the tenth year running. I would like to thank all of you that belong to the SMB Community for helping to make it something I enjoy being part of and supporting so much to enable me to qualify for this award repeatedly! With the announcement of the End Of Life of SBS I was not sure they would keep me around any longer, but apparently the good follks at Microsoft still see some value in my input. I would have have thought they would be tired of me saying “You’re doing what” by now :>)
Thank You All for Your Support through the years,
Posted on September 12th, 2012 No comments
Come join us next Tuesday for the inaugural meeting of the Greater Charlotte Chapter IAMCP (International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners). We will launch this group in true form with valuable partner networking and a great presentation on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 by Microsoft Sr. IT Pro Evangelist Yung Chou.
Visitors are welcome to join this meeting to learn more groups’ goals and the opportunity to grow with us. Learn more at
Greater Charlotte Chapter of IAMCP Monthly Meeting
Introduction of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012
Tuesday, September 18th, 6-8:30 EST
Microsoft Multi-Perpose Room (Last door in building on left)
8055 Microsoft Way Charlotte, NC 28273
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012
The latest release of Windows represents a leap in technologies and Microsoft’s investments on IT’s future. This presentation walks through a few user scenarios on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 to get you familiar with some of the new features of the release. Those who attend this session will be able to get productive on the release and evaluate both the client and the server using conventional a mouse-keyboard setting and without a touch-capable device. The following call-to-action is for all IT pros to get a head start:
- Get an evaluation copy of Windows Server 2012 at http://aka.ms/8 and Windows 8 at http://aka.ms/8c
- Register and take the free self-training of Windows Server 2012 track at Microsoft Virtual Academy, http://aka.ms/va
- Download from http://aka.ms/free and read the free ebooks of Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft Virtualization Solutions.
About our presenter:
Yung Chou is currently a Technology Evangelist in Microsoft US Developer and Platform Evangelism team. Within the company, he has had opportunities serving customers in the areas of support account management, technical support, technical sales, and evangelism. Prior to Microsoft, he had established capacities in system programming, application development, consulting services, and IT management. His recent technical focuses have been in virtualization and cloud computing with strong interests in private cloud with service-based deployment, hybrid cloud, and emerging enterprise computing architecture. He is a frequent speaker in Microsoft conferences, roadshow, and TechNet events.
The International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) is the preeminent networking venue for Microsoft Partners in the world. It brings the best partners together to leverage their joint strengths in delivering world class solutions to their clients while enhancing their ties to Microsoft. Learn more at www.iamcp-us.org or better yet, come join us and experience it for yourself.
Copyright © 2012 Charlotte SMB IT Pro Group, All rights reserved.
All logos and names are the copyrights of the respective owners.
Posted on July 9th, 2012 7 comments
What Microsoft actually said was there would not be another version of the on premises version of SBS developed. SBS 2011 is the last one, but it is not dead yet. It will be available for a year through most channels and a year and a half through the oem channel. It will be supported and patched. That is not dead, that is ample notice that there will be no new version, so if you need an on prem suite get busy and deploy it now. This is in sharp contrast to how they handled the death of EBS where they just pulled the plug while the next version was in Beta.
I am not telling you there are not big changes afoot, there are. But you have time to figure out what you want to with your business and what direction you want to take it. There are still going to be clients not in a mad race to the cloud and they are going to need servicing. You have ages in computer time to adjust and learn some new technology so when SBS is really dead you have the skills to still deliver an on prem solution stack, most likely based on some virtualization technology. And yes you are going to have to learn how to install the pieces you want in your stack, daddy is not going to do it for you anymore. Don’t get me wrong I have loved SBS through its entire existence, but this is not the end of the world.
If you were you I would be more concerned with Microsoft’s abandonment of the SMB Channel in favor of its enterprise partners as well as direct delivery of software and services via the cloud. This seems to me to be a bigger threat than the end of SBS which they have been slowly deprecating since its heyday in 2003. This may be just what the User Group or IT Pro Group world required to start a long needed revitalization. Microsoft is not going out of the software business, just changing the rules of how we need to do business with them and opening the door for someone else to step in and lead the SMB Channel that they apparently no longer care about.
We need to figure out how to do business with Microsoft as an adversary instead of a partner, because like it or not they still have the solutions most of our clients want/need. So we must find a way to move forward that is profitable for us and profitable for Microsoft, for if we don’t we will all need to learn to flip burgers and if we do that, we certainly will drive down the value of burger flipping.
So as you can see the sky is not falling, this is just your wake up call to get busy and take the reins of your future and stop letting Microsoft drive your bus, hop up in the seat and take the wheel!
EDIT Actully this webinar is tomorrow not today 7/10/2012 6:00pm PST, (Thx Russ for pointing it out)
BTW I highly recommend you join in the conversation being hosted by my friend Amy Babinchak at http://www.thirdtier.net/2012/07/webinar-future-of-small-business-it/
What is this all about, in case you have been sleeping under a rock,
Also checkou this pdf, http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?Linkid=257790
Posted on June 13th, 2012 2 comments
Our friend Eric Ligman is up for annual review and it would be in all our best interest if you took a minute or two to complete the survey on his performance over the last year.
PLEASE do not confuse his excellent job as messenger with the sometimes lousy or even absurd (death of SBSC comes to mind) messages he has to communicate. He is not the one making the absurd decisions and trashing our channel. He is just the conduit of information from the higher ups at Microsoft. So if you value his ability to clearly communicate the rules and policies of Microsoft and his help demystifying the licensing mumbo jumbo, please take that into account as you evaluate his performance and not the fact you may not like the messages he is forced to deliver.
Eric request to fill in the survey here
Direct survey link here